Cleanup underway at monsoon-damaged Tucson apartments - Tucson News Now

Cleanup underway at monsoon-damaged Tucson apartments

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
Source: Tucson News Now Source: Tucson News Now
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Cleanup is underway at an east-side Tucson apartment complex severely damaged by a monsoon storm.

No one was injured at the Woodridge Apartments, 8225 E. Speedway Boulevard, when at least five trees came crashing down late Thursday afternoon, Aug. 10.

Blue Johnson, owner of Arizona Arbor, said it will take about a week to chop up all the downed trees and remove them.

"It's the biggest (destruction) I've ever seen here locally. I've been cutting for 25 years. Damage-wise, it's just phenomenal. Every roof has got a hole in it," Johnson said, talking about at least two buildings crushed under the weight of the Eucalyptus trees that fell in the storm.

It was likely a microburst that did the most damage. According to Julian Herrera with the Tucson Fire Department, the first call about downed trees at the complex was reported at 4:11 p.m.

Firefighters rescued two people who were trapped inside their apartments, and helped remove animals from damaged units.

The management team at the apartment complex on Speedway Boulevard, east of Pantano Road, would not comment on how many apartments are closed because of the damage.

But our Tucson News Now staff saw at least six units that had "Do Not Enter" signs on their windows.

On Friday, Aug. 11, Johnson said that these Eucalyptus trees are non-native to southern Arizona, and that they are the worst kind of tree to have near a building.

"Because they're so brittle when they're green, and they're hard as a rock when they're dry," he said. "They're constantly breaking. We're constantly out doing storm damage on Eucalyptus - it's our number one tree that's breaking around town."

According to Mike Sagara, a spokesman for the Red Cross, the agency is helping families from 11 different units, totaling at least 14 people, displaced by the damage at the Woodridge Apartment complex, giving them temporary shelter until they can get back safely into their apartments.

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